Foreign policy and defense
Since Montenegro left the Union with Serbia
and declared its independence in 2006, this was quickly
recognized by most countries, including Serbia. As
Serbia automatically took over all the Union's
membership in international organizations, Montenegro
had to seek its own membership in them, which proved to
be no problem. Subsequently, Montenegro's main foreign
policy goal was to become a member of the EU and NATO as
well. Negotiations with the EU are ongoing while the
NATO membership became reality in June 2017.
In 2008, the country submitted an application for
full membership to the EU. One year later, the EU lifted
the visa requirement for citizens of Montenegro when
entering the Schengen area. In 2010, Montenegro became a
candidate country, and in 2012 it was given the go-ahead
to start negotiations on EU membership. The EU
Commission noted in its autumn 2016 report on reform
activities in Montenegro on the road to membership that
some progress had been made, but that action had to be
taken against corruption and organized crime.
Overview of business holidays and various national observances in Montenegro for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025.
Relations with Serbia have sometimes been quite
chilly due to the issue of dual citizenship for the many
Serbs living in Montenegro (Montenegro has so far
refused to do so) and for Montenegro to recognize Kosovo
as an independent state. The Serbian Orthodox Church's
strong position in Montenegro has also caused
controversy (see Religion). An alleged coup attempt in
connection with the parliamentary elections in autumn
2016, with Serbian (and Russian) intervention (see
Current policy) has further clouded relations.
With other neighboring countries, the relationship is
generally good, although there are small outstanding
border disputes with both Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo.
However, the previously friendly relations with
Russia have deteriorated in recent years. Russia does
not appreciate the government's west-friendly policy
and, above all, has been opposed to a Montenegrin NATO
membership (see below). Nor is Montenegro (unlike
Serbia) behind the EU sanctions on Russia after the
annexation of Crimea is not seen with gentle eyes. At
the same time, large parts of the opposition are
Russian-friendly, Russian money is involved in a large
part of the business privatization in Montenegro and
Russians constitute an overwhelming proportion of
foreign tourists in the country.
In April 2012, the country joined the World Trade
After independence, Montenegro decided to abolish the
general military duty and establish its own professional
army. At the end of 2006, the country joined the NATO
Partnership for Peace (PFF) and in 2008 Montenegro
received an invitation to become a member after the
necessary reforms. Montenegro was approved as a full
NATO member in 2016 and the only thing remaining was
that all NATO members would also give their sign. In the
spring of 2017, the Montenegrin opposition tried to
persuade the US new leadership to deny Montenegro's
membership, but in vain (see Calendar). In early June
2017, the country was admitted as NATO's 29th member.
Already a week later, Montenegro made its first official
appearance when the country's ÖB, General Ljubisa Jokić,
visited the NATO-led forces in Kosovo (Kfor).
FACTS - DEFENSE
875 man (2017)
The air Force
225 men (2017)
350 men (2017)
Military expenditure's share of GDP
1.7 percent (2017)
Military spending's share of the state budget
3.3 percent (2017)
Plan for NATO membership
NATO draws up an action plan for Montenegro that is intended to lead to
membership in the organization.
Visa-free travel within Schengen
Montenegrins, like Serbs and Macedonians, are granted visa-free travel within
the Schengen area - ie 22 EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway
DPS wins new election
Prime Minister Milo Đukanović's center-left coalition, where his party
dominates the DPS, wins a grand victory in the earlier parliamentary elections.
The Government Coalition receives 48 of the 81 parliamentary seats. The turnout
is just over 66 percent.